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Week 3 of Radiation and Chemo

May 24, 2013

I am pretty much half way done with this round of chemotherapy and radiation. I am a little bit more fatigued this week, and starting to experience a little nausea, but these things are to be expected at this stage in the treatment.  That said, both are pretty manageable because A) I am addicted to coffee, which helps the fatigue, and B) I also have some good anti-nausea medication, which helps with getting sick. Just to be clear, my boss Sara was the one who first introduced me to the seedy underworld of coffee addiction. Other than that she has been a great manager, but the day that I interviewed with her, in the coffee shop near the office 3.5 years ago, is a day that will live in organic light roast infamy.

I don’t have much official to report this week, besides a brief meeting on Wednesday with Dr. Monyak, my Radiation Oncologist. He mentioned that I, at that point on May 22nd, had completed 12 sessions, which I already knew. He did explain, however, that these first 12 sessions had a strong dose of radiation that zapped – my term, not the doctor’s – a large portion of the right side of my brain. The next 11 sessions will be the exact same (essentially, this is my first month of treatment). The last two and a half weeks will be a lower dose of radiation, but more localized to where my tumor used to be. Unfortunately, the symptoms won’t dissipate until after radiation and chemo are through, but again, coffee and pills are powerful cures.

As a side note, Dr. Monyak is my favorite doctor that I’ve met so far through this process…he is a total nerd and it is absolutely clear to me that the football jocks used to just wail on him in high school. Do you remember that small kid that was a part of the A/V club? That’s him. I picture him getting home from the clinic every day, taking off his hospital jacket, shirt and tie, putting on a Star Trek t-shirt, and playing World of Warcraft all night. But hey, he is a testament to the phrase “geeks will rule the world someday”. He is a successful doctor at a prestigious hospital. So kids…let this be a lesson: do your homework, embrace your inner nerd, and tell the football jocks to fuck off because you are going to help cure cancer one day.

On a final note, with no segue from the previous paragraph, I typically share the waiting room in the clinic with the same people every day. This is  despite the erratic schedule I was given, and I have no idea if the doctors planned it this way or not. These other patients, though, make me look forward to going to the clinic every day, oddly enough. I don’t know any of their names, or anything about them. In fact, I’ve barely even spoken to these people; for the most part we just smile and nod to each other…once in a while we will engage in small talk about the weather or whatever. However, I have definitely started to feel a bond with these people, and find a strange comfort in seeing them day in/day out (a friend of mine told me that the movie 50/50 has a similar motif – I’ll be honest, I’ve never seen the movie, and probably never will, but it sounds like the writers were spot on).

I cannot yet explain why I feel this way about total strangers, but I think it has to do with the fact that these are people who are going through the same thing that I am. I’d like to believe that these people – who I probably have nothing in common with except for the fact that we share the same illness –  are thinking the same things that I think about, and feeling the same feelings that I do. These are the things that I don’t share with any one else, and never will (some things I just want to keep to myself ). Like I said, I haven’t fully wrapped my head around it yet, but there is some sort of catharsis there, at least for me. I have no idea if these people feel the same way or not – in fact they are probably totally annoyed that my dad and I eat all the candy out of the candy jar at the front desk – but I like seeing them every day, regardless.

On that note, have a great long weekend everyone!

Onward and upward,


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  1. But have you replaced Aaron as the best-dressed man in radiation?

    PS– Dr. Monyak is my favorite nerd of all time. That hair!

    • NO….Seriously, wtf? I been going in with my hardest hitters lately and not a single word from anyone. I don’t think I’m even in contention for it.

      I am going to have to start telling them horrible, horrible lies about Aaron….”Did you hear that he and his wife stole that baby from a couple in Wisconsin? Yup…just snatched him right out of a shopping cart at Walmart”.

      • We’ve already cut you off at the pass with a pretty aggressive smear campaign. NICE TRY.

  2. andy mullin permalink


  3. Anne Lawless permalink

    I am now creeping on your blog, Eddie! I hope you don’t mind 🙂

    I also enjoy my coffee. It is the best medicine, in fact! I am having a big cup of iced coffee at the moment

  4. Jackie Baylor permalink

    Prayers and positive energy to you my dear! We are always here and look forward to enjoying cocktails with you very soon! Your blog is incredible and we are very proud of you! Lots of love! Justin and Jackie Baylor

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